Flash Value Compensation

Discussion about Ricoh GR Digital

Flash Value Compensation

Postby Tom Caldwell » Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:39 am

Now that I have set my mind to the topic - it might be worth a discssion on how Flash Exposure Value (FEV) interacts with normal Exposure Value (EV) on cameras.

Back in the GRD original days the camera only had the legendary and lasting EV rocker control. The control in my opinion that set Ricoh cameras apart from other digital cameras and something that other manufacturers have only come to emulate more recently.

Other cameras, even of the point and shoot variety had a separate FEV control - but no such control was on the GRD and the R4 contemporary of its day.

Any use of the Ricoh variety showed that a separate control was not really necessary. I once demonstrated this to a startled nay-saying camera store owner with my GRD by setting the GRD on auto-flash and then using the EV rocker to give just a kiss-blink of fill flash on the same object on his counter to a rip-roaring blow it away on full +2.0 EV. The R4 worked just the same and obviously metered just enough flash to give correct exposure by combining available light with flash infill.

But Ricoh were requested repeatedly to provide FEV as a separate function and did so with the very last firmware apgrade at the time the GRDII was released. Since then I have wondered how the de-linked FEV control buried deeply in the menu would work in conjunction with the normal easy-access EV rocker. Does one fight the other and therefore require some sort of correct exposure juggling by the operator?

I have come to the conclusion that maybe the FEV is the rough setting and that the EV becomes the fine tuning, but tuning is still necessary whereas it was automatic before. So the user has since had more control since but also has the opportunity to make mistakes as well. I like the later manual flash control setting which at least says you will always get a quantified amount of flash from the camera - not some sort of built in conflict of wills with you as the arbitrator.

However this probably shows more about my lack of flash skills than anything else and I would be very intereted in being better advised by someone with good experience in this area. Presently I avoid using flash as much as possible and use good old reliable EV and when I need a little fill flash good old manual flash value to the rescue. Then I presume that the normal EV gives me a tweak over the overall exposure level.

I still remain a little confused over FEV - so you get it right but then do you also adjust your EV as well? If the FEV is too high then do you madly reverse pedal the EV to compensate? Do you eventually manage to get badly mismatched settings to work well together by simple brute force?

Tom
Tom Caldwell
Coffs Harbour
Tom Caldwell
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